COLOMBO: Akila Dananjaya claimed six scalps and picked up widespread tributes as Sri Lanka hammered South Africa by 178 runs in the fifth and final One-day International on Sunday.
While the result at the R. Premadasa Stadium did not stop South Africa taking the series 3-2, Dananjaya’s performance established the pint-sized 24-year-old as one of the most threatening spinners on the international circuit.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews hit 97 off 97 balls as his side made 299 for eight off their 50 overs. Dananjaya then ripped through the South Africa batting lineup as they aimed for the biggest target score taken on by a visiting country at Colombo’s R. Premadasa stadium.
The tourists were all out for 121 two balls short of 25 overs. Dananjaya, who took a career-best six for 29, became one of just four spin bowlers with two six-wicket hauls in One-day Internationals.
South African skipper Quinton de Kock made 54, with seven fours and a six, before he was bowled by Dananjaya.
“Akila knows what he’s doing with the ball. It’s hard to take on someone like this when he has so many variations up his sleeve,” said de Kock, who got precious little support. “We have batted well against him in this series, but today he bowled really well.”
Man-of-the-match Dananjaya’s spin accounted for four of South Africa’s top five batsmen — de Kock, Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen. Apart from the stand-in captain, they managed just 23 runs between them.
Niroshan Dickwella set the tone for a determined batting display by Sri Lanka, hitting 43 off 65 balls before Mathews proved he is becoming a force again after a series of injury layoffs.
Mathews also started slowly, but his final 47 runs came off just 31 balls.
“This was a performance we were looking for but it came in the last match. If we had been like that in the first three games things could have been a lot different,” said Mathews.
Despite the fightback in the last two matches of the series, Mathews insisted that the team are still ‘a work in progress’ as they head for the World Cup in England next year. “We have got about 20 more games so we are looking to get better. We want to make the most of it.” After South Africa lost both Test matches in Sri Lanka, de Kock said it was a relief to win the one-day series. “It is never easy coming here and winning in Sri Lanka.”
J.P. Duminy was declared man-of-the-series.
South Africa’s tour ends with a one-off T20 International against the Sri Lankans at the same venue on Tuesday.
N. Dickwella c de Kock b Phehlukwayo 43
W.U. Tharanga c de Kock b Dala 19
M.D.K.J. Perera c Klaasen b Mulder 8
B.K.G. Mendis c de Kock b Maharaj 38
A.D. Mathews not out 97
D.M. de Silva c Hendricks b Mulder 30
N.L.T.C. Perera c Amla b Phehlukwayo 13
M.D. Shanaka c Duminy b Rabada 21
A. Dananjaya run out 5
EXTRAS (B-10, LB-5, W-7, NB-3) 25
TOTAL (for eight wkts, 50 overs) 299
FALL OF WKTS: 1-50, 2-64, 3-114, 4-142, 5-195, 6-247, 7-291, 8-299.
DID NOT BAT: R.A.S. Lakmal, C.B.R.L.S. Kumara.
BOWLING: Rabada 10-0-47-1 (2nb, 1w); Dala 9-0-57-1 (2w); Mulder 8-0-59-2 (1nb, 3w); Phehlukwayo 8-0-60-2 (1w); Maharaj 10-0-32-1; Duminy 5-0-29-0.
H.M. Amla b Lakmal 0
Q. de Kock b Dananjaya 54
A.K. Markram c and b Dananjaya 20
R.R. Hendricks b Dananjaya 0
H. Klaasen lbw b Dananjaya 3
J.P. Duminy c and b de Silva 12
P.W.A. Mulder lbw b Kumara 2
A. Phehlukwayo c Dickwella b Dananjaya 3
K.A. Maharaj c Lakmal b Dananjaya 8
K. Rabada not out 12
C.J. Dala c de Silva b Kumara 5
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-1) 2
TOTAL (all out, 24.4 overs) 121
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0, 2-31, 3-31, 4-39, 5-85, 6-92, 7-94, 8-95, 9-115.
BOWLING: Lakmal 4-0-22-1; Dananjaya 9-0-29-6; de Silva 4-0-21-1; Perera 2-0-14-0; Kumara 5.4-0-34-2 (1w).
RESULT: Sri Lanka win by 178 runs; South Africa win five-match series 3-2.
UMPIRES: R.S.A. Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka) and N.J. Llong (England).
TV UMPIRE: P.R. Reiffel (Australia).
MATCH REFEREE: J. Srinath (India).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Akila Dananjaya.
MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: J.P. Duminy.
Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2018